Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Deja Vu Series

Deja Vu #5 and Deja Vu #4 • Pinhole Photographs with digital TTV effect

I feel the pull of distance everyday. My daily life is separate from the land. I am too busy to stop and notice. I am too busy to connect. In her book The Lure of the Local, Lucy Lippard claims, “Virtually all ancient spiritual models in every culture emerge from or exist in intimate relation to land or place.” Therefore, doesn’t our growing distance from the land ultimately represent a weakening of our spirituality? My desire to close the gap motivates my work. I want to stop and notice. I want to connect. Perhaps it is more accurate to say, “I want to feel,” since spirituality and place are sensual.

How can I depict these feelings with/in my work? I appreciated Lippard’s quote of Richards Misrach’s comment, “…beauty can be a very powerful conveyor of difficult ideas. It engages people when they might look away.” But I also agree with Lippard’s observation, “Conventional landscape photography tends to overwhelm place with image.”

I am trying to visually capture the essence of an idea. I am trying to show a feeling. I am trying to portray a hidden world. A world we don’t take the time to connect with. This world may only exist in the past. How do I show that?


funlop said...

In reading your most recent post and several from the past. I see a recurring desire to capture the past or bring back an earlier time. "My yearning stems from a desire to capture the passing days - or rather, to return to an earlier time." "...fasination with places actually represents a longing for a specific time (or even an earlier self)?"
I believe you can find the nostalgia of the past in new experiences and places. As you said, "time provides distance from the discomforts of reality." Therefore, the past really is never as we remember it. To this, we need new experiences to provide us with how we remember the past.
It's the end of summer here, the sun is setting, the windows are open and there's a warm breeze. It's warmer upstairs than down. I'm walking up the stairs and the smell of the warm night air takes me back. I'm 8 years old at our family home the day is over and it's time for bed. However, when I'm back home I never experience this sensation. I believe this to be my new experience connecting me with my memory of the past.
Thus, I don't believe the world you want to capture only exists in the past. The memory is in the past but I believe there is future experience that can capture that memory.

MDH said...

Well said - and I agree. I have recently come to this conclusion myself - which is why I thought the word "Deja Vu" was an apt title for this series - we are all familiar with that odd feeling of being in a moment and remembering it at the same time...